Sunday, January 31, 2010

I thought we were going to Italy!!!

I found this "poem" online. I got such a response from the one about Australia, that I figured I'd post this one, too. While it is not about infertility or adoption, it IS about learning to accept the things we cannot change. It can be applied to many situations, but certainly the feelings of loss, grief, confusion and acceptance are universal.

by Emily Perl Kingsley
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this...

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome To Holland".

"Holland?!?" you say, "What do you mean "Holland"??? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy"

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills...Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy...and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned".

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away...because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But...if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things...about Holland.
© 1987, by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved.

For anyone who knows a family of a child with a disability, I hope you learn from them. They teach us about acceptance, grace and unconditional love. I appreciate this poem, which reminds me to not spend all of my time looking back at what could have been...


  1. OH WOW!! I LOOOOOOVED that Faith!!! After a day of a personal "meltdown" on my part, this really hit home! That poem can be applied in soo many different areas in life! Especially infertility.. because you REALLY have to search for the good amongst SOO much "Bad" during the struggle! Thank you for that piece of encouragment today! I needed it! =)


  2. Hello! I'm so glad you found my blog! It looks like your agency finally got their butts in gear! I'm excited to follow your journey, and I will pray that your baby is placed in your arms soon!

    We read this poem in one of our adoption classes, and I loved it!